Google has grown to become the most used search engine in the entire world and while it manages to do such a great job serving a global community, sometimes we need solutions that are right in our own neighborhoods. When your AC goes out, you don’t want to wait for someone in another state to travel to you for a simple repair. Thanks to Google Local Services, you are now able to easily find products and services from businesses that are near you.
Google Local Services is a pay-per-lead advertising system that serves several industries across the U.S. and Canada. It is a great way to supplement the current SEO tactics done by various industry professionals such as plumbers, locksmiths, HVAC technicians and electricians.
When a user enters a local search query such as “Houston locksmith”, they will see ad listings of several trusted professionals in their area. This is positioned at the top of the regular search results above traditional search ads. These ads include information such as business number, hours, ratings and reviews.
Google even goes as far as confirming the business and location that the user is seeking. This way, Google can ensure that they are pointing the right potential customers to the right businesses. The benefit of this is that you know when you receive a lead, it is a quality one with a higher conversion probability.
How Do Google Local Services Ads Show Up in Search Results?
For ads to show up via Local Services, advertisers must choose from a list of services specific to their industry. When a Google user’s search matches the criteria of your business, it then becomes eligible for a Local Services ad. It is important to note that businesses do not have control over the content of their ads because they select categories instead of specific key words to drive traffic. On the plus side, you will be paying per lead instead of per click. This means that you will only pay for those who are qualified leads that respond to you ad or listing.
Google lists a few factors that determine the ranking of Local Services ads. Some of these include but are not limited to:
- Proximity to user
- Google’s My Business rating
- Number of reviews
- Responsiveness to lead
Another contributing factor to your ad ranking is your advertising budget. Google makes a conscience effort to evenly distribute your budget across the day and week. Due to this, you may see that your ads rank lower as Google ensures that you don’t receive all your leads in one day, thus exhausting your budget.
What businesses are eligible for Google Local Services?
Google Local Services supports ads for the following industries, among others:
- Garage Door Experts
- Air Duct Cleaners
- Appliance Repair Service
- Carpet Cleaner
- Home Improvement Pro
- House Cleaner
- Junk Removal Provider
- Lawn Care Provider
- Pest Control Technician
- Tree Service Provider
- Water Damage Service Provider
- Window Cleaner
- Window Service Provider
Unfortunately, Google does not provide Local Services for all regions. However, it does serve most large metro regions in the U.S. and has plans to expand internationally. Here are the current U.S. regions served by Google Local Services:
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA
- Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
- Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
- Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
- Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI
- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL
- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA
- San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
- St. Louis, MO-IL
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
How do I pay for Google Local Services and how much does it cost?
As stated, Google Local Services is so appealing to business owners because it is a pay-per-lead system instead of a pay-per-click system. This saves advertisers time and money wasted on people that would not benefit from the services that they offer. According to Google, a lead is when:
- You receive a text message or email from the customer.
- You receive a voicemail from the customer.
- You answer a phone call and speak with the customer.
Google does its best to try and filter out any invalid leads as well as offer the opportunity for businesses to dispute a paid lead for situations such as no service listed in profile, no location listed in profile, wrong numbers, solicitation, automated recordings and missing contact information.
In order to pay for your leads, Google requires you to set a weekly budget which is then used to cover the cost of the leads you acquire until the budget runs out. The cost of a lead is based on a set rate dependent on the category and market. Lead costs range between $5-$139. While this is higher than other forms of advertising, such as cost-per-click, it generally produces a higher return on investment. These qualified leads are much more likely to follow through and hire you than the general public seeing your display ad.
How can I join Google Local Services ads?
If you are interested in Google Local Services, you must be sure to complete these 4 steps to get started:
- Confirm your eligibility: Google Local Services is only available to limited number of industries in select markets. Find out whether or not your business qualifies for Google Local Services.
- Create your business profile: Your Google My Business profile is what will appear on your local ads in the search results, but your Google Local Services profile is how Google will determine what jobs and what leads are connected to you. It is important to list accurate information about the jobs you can perform and your area of work to make sure that you are paying for leads that actually benefit you and the potential customer. Your Google Local Services profile allows you to edit:
- Weekly budget
- Business hours
- Service areas
- Job types
- Add your license and insurance details: In order to receive the Google Guarantee badge, you’ll need to prove that you are a licensed and insured business by uploading up-to-date paperwork.
- Complete Background Check: Google has partnered with Pinkerton to perform free background checks on businesses. This is to ensure that they are sending safe and trustworthy people into their user’s homes and offices.
Google Local Services is a fantastic business investment if you want to increase exposure, connect with customers at the moment they’re looking for services you provide, have access to an easy-to-use management platform, limit wasted time, and increase odds of turning more leads into customers. In addition to all of those benefits, you will receive the Google Guaranteed badge which helps build trust in your potential customers.
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